Monday, November 16, 2009

My Minivan Does Not Define Me!!

I am a stiletto wearing, cabernet sipping and yes……minivan driving Mama of soon-to-be three children. That’s right… I said MINIVAN (and did I mention I’m going from one child to three in one fell swoop?). I have found myself struggling with the idea of driving a minivan for several weeks now, ever since we drove it off the lot. I swore I’d never be that Mom. The one who drove a Minivan because somehow, that means I’ve given up right? Given up myself to that persona of “Soccer Mom” or “Mom Jeans wearing Mom”?

Absolutely not!

I recently read a status post on Facebook from an acquaintance and I quote:

“Why on God's green earth do people ever buy mini-vans? Does anyone realize that SUVs have just as much cargo capacity and don't make you look like you've completely given up on aspiring to be at least minutely cool. Seriously, what's the draw? Are they giving away lifetime supplies of unisex mom jeans with each purchase....?”

Really? REALLY?

What disheartened me about this post was the fact that many people make this assumption! I tried not to let it bother me. I did. But it still sits with me because I totally disagree with this assumption! My BCBG shoes and dresses are still in my closet….I will still find time to slip them on from time to time (once the twin belly is gone of course) and while I can acknowledge that with twins, and a four year old those totally awesome shoes and dresses will take a small break, they will not retire! They will simply be on hiatus. Period. No argument. Got it judgmental people with no kids?

That is all. Thanks.

PS: I’d love to hear from you Moms on how you maintain balance between your pre-Mommy days and the present. Sure, you have peas on your shirt from time to time, and you can’t get enough of those chubby, drooling love bugs in your home. But what do you do to maintain some balance? To nurture yourself and more importantly, how are you ensuring you aren’t giving up the aspiration of being “cool”?? (whatever that means…haha) I’m writing an article for a small local magazine and would love to use your perspective as a form of inspiration. Not to mention I’m about to jump from one kid to three…..words of wisdom please!!!!


angie said...

I have a hard time finding balance, but I try. Even though I'm not a big fan of exercise, I try to do it consistently and get regular sleep in order to try to stay "healthy".

I make time for the things I love doing........and no way no how am I going to let being a mom to 5 make me frumpy! :)

B said...

I was one of those people who SWORE I'd never drive a mini van. I said I'd drive the biggest SUV out there before I'd ever give in to a mini van. Well I've since eaten my words. The big SUV's felt like driving a truck while the mini van felt more like a big car and much easier to handle. I know more than one person who can't navigate there big a$$ SUV's and have taken out the sides of other cars trying to park and hit many other numerous things. My pooor minivan was victim to that in the school parking lot (by the pto presiden no less!) So embrace the mini van. I know I couldn't live without mine. I love it.

As far as finding the balance? I believe in time outs. For me. Sneaking off to the spa once in a blue moon (I"m lucky if I get that in 2x a year) or out with the girls once in a while recharges the batteries. Even running errands by myself or sending the kids to run errands with my husband so I can have a quiet house for an hour to read a book counts for me. And if you are lucky enough to have someone available to take your kids overnight so you can enjoy a kid free evening with hubby...embrace it! Luckily my parents love to spend time with my kids and love having sleepovers. Its a free night of babysitting and it does so much for my outlook as a mom.

S Club Mama said...

I'm over from Angie's. I have a 2 yo and 4 mo. I'm working on balance. I don't fit into any of my pre-baby clothes yet and haven't found time to exercise (and it's freaking cold outside to go walking). I have a mini van but seriously, I don't mind. It drives fast LOL (when I don't have the kids with me), my husband doesn't have to break his 6'5" to get our kids in their seats, it has an automatic door (freaking awesome), and it was way cheaper than an SUV.

I haven't found any really close girlfriends I can have brunch with or coffee with or see a movie with. I'm working on it. I suggest finding a MOPS group, though. One or two days a month where someone else watches your kids while you learn about being a mom, a Christian, and a friend. :)

Melis said...

Madame, I am right there with ya.

You know what? My van has leather. It's sexy. It's so much easier to get into a van in 4-inch heels than an SUV.

But seriously, there ARE days when I don't get dressed or do my makeup and look all cute... but those are the days when I put the disgustingly cute matchy/coordinatey outfits on the kids and their adorableness take the focus off of me. And the next day, I'll let them fuss a little longer and do my hair. And I only own colored lip gloss and no plain chapstick, so at the very VERY least, I've got that on. You find a balance easier and faster with the 3 than you would normally because you learn just as quickly as the babies do that sometimes they just have to wait. You CANNOT feed them both the instant they become hungry. You cannot pick up all 3 kids if they're all crying. So you learn, and so do they, that patience is a must. And they can't learn patience, you learn to deal with their impatience. So you find time, here and there, to focus on you and let them chill for a minute. It's a lesson that going from one to three teaches you a lot faster than going from one to two to three. Believe me, I know.

The van doesn't define you. You define the VAN. And my van is another member of our family. Like a pet. And I LOVE the chances I have to open my door and step out of it and shock the pants off the people who expect Frumpy McFrumperson to spill out instead of me. Attitude. It's all about the attitude. You've got it. Rock the van.

Chrissy MacCEO said...

I am happy I've stumbled upon your blog through Angie! You are a fabulous writer!

I am one of those mini-van driving moms, too, and just like you, I NEVER thought I'd EVER EVER say that. But, you know what? Minivans are NOT SUV's--they ARE practical, reliable, comfortable cars! It's a smart choice for a mom to make, and personally, after driving one, I will not go back to an SUV or car until my kids are older. It just makes sense. What SUV has automatic doors that open with a key? When you are holding your twins and have your 4 year old running around, it makes sense to push a button since you do not have an extra hand to open the doors! Things like that make the minivan the smarter choice.

Also, just because we put those things like adorable shoes and fancy coats in the closet for some time does not mean we are any less of a "woman."

Simply Mommy said...

Finding that balance isnt exactly easy, at least not for me. Especially since I made the very important decision to stay home with my boys. I cont. to work after my first and 7 months after having my second. I feel I didnt change much. But for some reason I slacked off a little once I started to stay home. I think it is very important to stay true to who you are and not lose yourself once you have children. Yes, you may look at life different and priorities do change a little. But I feel better about myself when I get up, get myself out of pj's and put some makeup on. I have realized I need to care for myself in order to be the best mother and wife I can be. Having #3 threw me for a loop. But in the end it made me a more laid back, go with the flow mama. I have a schedule but I'm not obsessive with it. I ADORE my one night a month dinner with girlfriends. And I also try to make a date night (at home) one a week with my hubby. We have fallen off that but Im determined to get that back!! And well, a glass of wine or two a night does the trick too!!!The whole mini-van thing. I SWORE I would never get one. Well, #3 came and we went chopping for one. They are pretty fancy these days. Leather, drop down tvs, and the overall styles have much improved. I actually never purchased one ONLY because my husbands boss no longer wanted his Yukon and offered it to us. Well, you just can't pass up free, even if it is a gas guzzler. I do love it but would no longer have any trouble with the classy mini-vans out there. :)

scrappysue said...

i don't remember my pre-mummy days, as it was 20 years ago, and it's not about finding a balance between your old life and your new life, because you move from one to the other. it's a total shift, a CHANGE, and one that's usually wished for, and it's just the IDEA of having a foot in both worlds that finds us wanting that ellusive 'balance'.

as for mini vans - people just don't want to admit that they're practical, it's just a car, it's just a word and it's about getting your kids (and the rest of the neighbourhood too!) around safely and comfortably.

congrats on your babies - i'm at work, but hope to come back to your blog again soon!

Melinda said...

I still am one of those women who refuse to buy a minivan, but my husband actually wants one....i dont get it. They arent flashy or young but he wants one, and I don't think thats the "norm" haha. I think I'll stick with my mid size SUV until I have more kids than I can fit in an SUV haha...hopefully we never get to that many kids :-P

girlytwins said...

I have to state that I found this post insanely entertaining. I have been heard in the past saying that I would never drive a minivan, however I can see myself merging over to the dark side LOL.

I like to think I am a pretty hip mommy. Certainly there are days that I wear a pony tail and sweats however I always put on a least a bit of makeup. The first year after I had my twins I did find that I drifted off into the lazy zone of hipness and I vowed to make sure I was always true to myself. I make sure that if I am out and about in jeans and a tee shirt I am least rocking a designer pair of jeans. It just makes me feel more sexy. In no way does having kids make you frumpy.

I also love to get out with my girls (the ones my age) and have a drink and maybe dance a little every so often. I get pedis and change my hair color and cut often.

The fact that you are concerned with staying sassy makes me think you have nothing to worry about. :)

Kristina Petrella said...

seriously, anyone who disses a minivan is someone who has not had a need to drive one! You cannot crawl through an SUV to change a diaper, wipe a nose, grab a sippy cup and nurse.

How do I balance being a mom and life? I must have missed where there is a balance....just kidding. I try to make sure I do something for me every day. Even if it is just reading two pages out of a book NOT ABOUT PARENTING!!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Hi, I saw your comment on the girlytwins blog. I have Momo twin girls and just wanted to introduce myself.
Finding balance is tough but I found it has gotten easier as my girls get older. And when my daughters start school next year, I am going to be lost (I will have a lot of freet time probably). Finding balance will come with time, I think.

scrappysue said...

i'm back - just making sure u made time to have a wine tonight - i sure did!!! thanks for stopping by